Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Movies

Oh how I love to watch Christmas movies. But I feel like I've been watching the same ones year after year. First, I would like to share with you some of my favorite parts of some of my favorite Christmas movies. Then, I would like to ask for suggestions on new Christmas movies. Or you can send them to me as presents. Whatever.
[Sorry some of the clips don't work on here but they do if you follow the link to Youtube.]

I want one of my family traditions to be having a dance party to this song every Christmas Eve.

And my other favorite part of Love Actually.


I love so many scenes in this movie. This isn't my favorite but those Youtube clips didn't have any audio.
Where's the Tylenol!?!?! 

This one is long. But the reason why the ending to this movie is one of my favorites is because I didn't see it for like 10 years of watching the movie. Our family tradition is to watch this movie on Christmas Eve, no matter what, so for years, I'd always fall asleep before we got to the end. Then one year, I finally saw it and the movie made SO much more sense.

Two favorite things about this movie: Kate Winslet. The music. How cool would it be to have Kate Winslet and Hans Zimmer teaming to give the background narration of your life?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cruel Creches

When I said I was going to make a bunch of posts dedicated to Christmas, I bet you all thought I was going to share poems and heartwarming stories or something. After my last post, this is clearly not so. I don't even know if yall are enjoying this but I'm going to keep going until I find something to make someone smile as much as these make me smile.

Next on our list of Kelley's odd Christmas humor posts we have:

Awesomely Bad Nativity Scenes 

...and they presented gifts of gold, Frankenstein, myrrh and a lively Irish jig.

Why do people insist on using animals? Google it. There is a disturbing amount. I could have done a post just of animal nativities.

You lose points if you hit the baby Jesus.

My mom has one of these characters as an ornament on the tree and it has a little red heart that says "I burn for you." Ha! Get it!?

Talk about confusing your Christmas stories.

Never never never never have inflatables in the yard. Nativity inflatable? Soooo bad.

Not sure why this one's weird? Look again.
I actually love Veggie Tales. Probably not the best idea for a nativity scene but it's still kinda cute.
Don't know what this one is but $10 says it was made in Japan.
Shotgun shells. They probably sell this at my Wal-Mart.
I don't even know where to start....
There are about a thousand dog-themed nativity scenes out there. Maybe if I was a dog person I'd find them cute but I'm not so I don't.

Dragons! They're frikkin dragons!

Is that Joseph? Or Huckleberry Finn?
Look closely. They're wax museum statues. Joseph and Mary? David and Posh Spice Beckam.
If you can't afford a dog or dragon nativity, just use the random pork meats you have hanging out in the fridge. Good thing Jews don't celebrate Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sounds of the Season

In honor of the holiday season, I decided to dedicate my December posts to all things Christmas. And since my blog readership has varied over the years, I've decided to recycle and update some older Christmas posts. Posts of Christmas past, if you will. [Zing!]

First, a few years ago, I created a list of my least favorite Christmas songs.

I don't really listen to a lot of pop Christmas music. The pop-ification of traditional, feel-good Christmas songs is just weird and awkward. Plus, everyone releases a Christmas album. Don't believe me? Stay tuned for another re-post. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of fun pop Christmas songs out there. The following list is not some of them. Below are my top 5 most irritating pop Christmas songs. Feel free to add any to the list.

Do You Hear What I Hear?
Have you ever seen the movie Gremlins? There is a part when the mom gets attacked by the evil Gremlins while they're hiding in the Christmas tree while a record is playing this song in the house. If the image of getting mauled by your Christmas tree wasn't enough to scar me as a child, the record gets stuck on the line "do you hear what I hear?" and really sealed the deal. 

All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
I liked this song when it first came out. But apparently so did every other woman in the entire nation so the radio stations still feel the need to play it twice every hour. [My new Christmas gem this year can be found here. I might have a renewed love for this song. I can't stop watching.]

Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
The repetition of the line "Simply havin a wonderful Christmas time" roughly 247 times is a little unnecessary. I expect more lyrical genius out of a Beatle.

So this is Christmas - John Lennon
I'm not heartless! It has a beautiful message but the creepy children's backup choir kind of freaks me out. Celine does a version of this song that is gorgeous but she went with the traditional gospel choir as backup and let's be honest, whenever you go with the gospel choir, you're golden.

Feliz Navidad
Oh how I love the song that makes every American feel that much more culturally diverse because they know how to say "Merry Christmas" in Spanish. 

So you don't think I'm a complete Scrooge, here are a few of my favorite pop Christmas songs: 

One time in high school, me and three friends choreographed a dance to this song. It was awesome. Wait, am I remembering that correctly? 

Please Come Home for Christmas - The Eagles
The Jon Bon Jovi version is a close second. He does have better hair. 

Man, I could listen to this over and over and over. 

Sleigh Ride- Boston Pops/John Williams
It makes me want to buy a woodblock. 

A little state pride. If I had a Christmas party, I would play this.

Jk. Or am I......?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

4 Months

I know it's cliche to say "I can't believe how fast the time is going" so I'm not going to. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm glad the time is going by quickly. Jericho will be here in less than a month and I'm so excited I could have a giggle fit.

If I thought being pregnant was an open invitation for strangers to talk to me, it's nothing compared to walking around with a little baby. I was at a fabric store today and a lady asked me how old my *beautiful* baby was and I told her. She said, "Wow. AND you have time to sew?" I responded with "If I didn't do things like this, I'd go crazy." [More on all of my projects later.] Strangers are always talking to me about my baby. I love it, actually. I've never felt so popular.

Isn't she a gem? I was testifying of Sydney's cuteness to Jericho the other day and he said, "Good. I'm glad she's so cute. I'd hate for you to be in this situation with an ugly baby."

Noteworthy behaviors at the 4 month mark: 
~ Spits. Not drools. Not just cute baby bubbles. Spits. Raspberries or whatever it is she does. She does it a lot when she's laying on her back and super excited about life. Her face gets soaked. 
~ Also while laying on her back and super excited, she kicks her legs REALLY fast. If I tried to kick my legs that much that fast, that would be my workout for the day. We call it the bicycle because her arms are simultaneously stretched out in front of her with clenched fists. 
~ Still sleeping through the night. She's a champion. Have recently moved her into her nursery and all is going well thus far. 
~ The girl is freakishly strong. Seriously. She does pull ups on the handle in her car seat. 
~ Unless she's tired or eating, she doesn't want to sit. Is always trying to stand up or kick her legs or do jumping jacks. 
~ Is getting more tempestuous during tired times. In lieu of a rocker while at my parents' house, my mom used an exercise ball to calm her down enough to go to sleep. It worked.

And check out what I made on my computer! Sydney animation!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving in Pictures

I couldn't let November go by without posting more than once. I don't have too much to write but thought I'd share some of the pictures from Thanksgiving week at my parents' house. Even though I live only an hour from my parents, I went over there early and spent most of the week with them. Ever since I spent one Thanksgiving completely by myself, I've always had a greater desire to do it up right and be with as many family and friends as possible. I have so many fond memories of hanging out in the kitchen and cooking as a family and this Thanksgiving didn't disappoint.

1) My cute sister. She cooked all the hard stuff. 2) My cute parents, working together. 3) My cute baby, watching all the hard work. 4) Various pots, cooking away in one of the two kitchens. 5) Dusted off the good tableware. 6) Pretty Christmas decorations. I'm jealous. 7) Yummy peee-can pie courtesy of uncle Trevor. 8) And one more picture of my [drooling] baby for good measure.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Three Months

My child is three months old. When did this happen?

Since I haven't started a baby book for Sydney [and might not ever because there's a good chance I'll neglect doing one for any subsequent children and don't want to get accused of favoritism down the road], I wanted to write down some of the more noteworthy moments of late even though roughly 100% of you don't care. Except maybe her grandmothers.

- Rolls over from tummy to back. She did it the first time a couple of weeks ago and completely took me by surprise. I squealed with delight while she looked at me like I was crazy. She does it every now and then but I don't think she knows what she's doing. I think she pushes up so far that the weight of her head tips her over like an upside down Weeble.
- Loves to eat her hands or anything close to her mouth. Exhibit A:

- Smiles all the time and loves being talked to or even just people talking near her. She'll imitate the noises you make and will sometimes mimic your facial expressions, including sticking her tongue out back at you. Exhibits B & C:

- Can grasp some things though I don't think it's on purpose because she does it a lot to my hair and I'd like to think she's not that mean.
- Has been sleeping through the night since about 10 weeks old. Usually from about 8-10 at night to 6-8 in the morning. I have no idea how it happened. It may have something to do with her straight jacket aka the Miracle Blanket. I thought I'd freak out when it first happened because I'd think she stopped breathing but turns out I was too tired to notice. Exhibit D: [She loves this. I swear.]

- When she's awake, she's hardly ever still. Probably why she sleeps so well at night.
- She LOVES her play gym and her swing and looking at lights. 
- Squeals so high when she's excited that it makes the neighborhood dogs freak out
- Has started to get picky on which pacifiers and bottles she likes.
- She's started to get more temperamental. It totally throws me. She's so mellow and manageable about 95% of the time and then that one time when she's fussing for what seems like no reason, I'm completely at a loss and whine like crazy for all of 10 minutes about how hard my life is and then she falls asleep. This is clearly an indication that Heavenly Father knew I couldn't hack it as a single parent with a really fussy baby.
- Has had her first "My mom is so mean" moment when she had a bit of a stuffy nose last week and I attacked her with the bulb sucker every few hours for several days.
- She burps like a man. I do not exaggerate. Ask any member of my family. I'm so proud.
- She can arch her back while laying down. And also while in her tub which is great fun when she goes back down.

I like to consult this chart and conclude that my child is aMAZingly gifted. She's been in the "Advanced Skills" column for her age her entire life. She's going to be doing quadratic equations any second now. I just know it.

[via this website]

That's a little bit about our Sydney. And here's one more picture because I love this new onesie- For dad and grandpa.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I once tried to defend myself to someone accusing me of being a cynic but failed miserably.

You know Pinterest? Of course you know Pinterest. One of the common items pinned and repinned are cutesy inspirational quotes, usually pulled from Tumblr. If you haven't been to Tumblr to see these, you should take a look.

It is filled with wonderful gems like these:

I'll give you a moment to grab some tissues.

I know quotes can be great and inspiring. I love highlighting passages from books that are unique and gracefully worded or pretty much anything from Albus Dumbledore. And I acknowledge that not all quotes on Pinterest are oozing with cheese. But has anyone's life ever been changed from reading these random, gushy quotes from Tumblr or Pinterest? Show of hands? Okay maybe a few. I guess just not mine. Does this make me a cynic? Probably. I was running the idea of this post past Jericho the other day and he said he thought it was a good idea and that it seemed very like me. Hm. The man knows me well.

I have a heart, I swear. I just don't feel my heart is spoken to by dramatic, cliche thoughts typed over generic landscapes or a couple holding hands or a wee child holding a single yellow daisy. [For the record, pictures #3 and #6 above makes me laugh hysterically every time.]

I wanted to incorporate my own quote into Pinterest so I needed to post it somewhere first before I could pin it. Here are my thoughts on life, in Tumblr format. Please don't hate me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

GOP Race 2012

The other day Jericho asked me, with great concern in his voice, if my blog was turning into a Mom Blog. Oh dear. It is tough not to blog about my child and being a mom since that occupies roughly 125% of my time, thoughts, and energy. He suggested I write about something political.

So here is my breakdown of the GOP prelim race. 

Michelle Bachman- All defense and no offense. Her french tips are Real-Housewives-too-along. And I don't trust people from the midwest.

Herman Cain- New guy that hasn't been tainted by being a career politician. Knows some stuff when it comes to business and economics. Makes a mean pizza.

Newt Gingrich- Tainted by tainting himself in the 90's during the Clinton admin. Such a longtime career politician that all I can see when I look at his face are caricatures from political cartoons. And the man's name is Newt. NEWT! How could we expect the world to start respecting us again when our Prez shares a name with a lizard famously referenced in Monty Python.

Jon Huntsman- Appointed by Obama as ambassador to China. Mormon although hasn't decided what definition of Mormon he falls into. Like Mitt Romney except he's a Utah Mormon instead of a Massachusetts Mormon. And without the awesome hair. Or the winning politician's smile. Or the supporters.

Ron Paul- He's kind of nutty and I've never really been sure what political party he should belong to. And he's 75. I think over 70 should be considered "of advanced political age" and therefore be required to take additional medical testing to assess one's ability to not die while serving in office.

Rick Perry- Serious contender for the bid. A real Christian. Strong following and a lot of supporters. A strong push with his jobs plan. But I don't trust people from Texas.

Mitt Romney- Strong frontrunner for much of the race thus far. Focuses on jobs and the economy. Serious business knack. Some consider him too moderate to be a Republican. Some consider his teeth freakishly white. Little known fact, his full name is "Mittens".

Rick Santorum- I don't know much about this guy. His last name sounds like a prescription drug.

There are a bunch of other people on the official list but I've never heard of them. These are really the only ones that are causing any buzz. If you would like to have an actual educated and official description of the candidates, please consult pretty much any other source. Happy voting friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charity Never Faileth

Technically, she was 10 weeks for this picture but I got lazy on her actual 2 month birthday and didn't take a picture.

As you can see, little missy is starting to smile a lot. She doesn't laugh yet but she definitely smiles and at times just for the heck of it. She'll wake up from her naps smiling and making all sorts of delightful little baby noises. She's also starting to eat her hands.

The last two nights, she's slept more than 7 hours. Last night was from 9:30 to 6:30. At 6:30 when she woke up, I picked her up from her bed, hugged and kissed her and danced around the room in a celebratory waltz.

In my previous post, I mentioned how well things are going. It's true. Everything is smashing. But I absolutely wouldn't be this set if it weren't for the help of so many fabulous people. My awesome neighbor girls (Jami, Jesica, and Kristi) watch Sydney for me once a week so I can go to the gym. It's the most regular workout schedule I've been on in months! It's a dream! My RS President practically begged me to let her watch Sydney for a few hours this afternoon. I had forgotten what running errands is like by myself. And of course my wonderful mother is always on the ready. Even at 2:00 am when I get scared during a thunderstorm.

I made a goal before Sydney was born and before Jericho left that I would always say "yes" to any help that was offered and if people made open-ended offerings of help, I'd try my best to come up with something. Asking for help is way hard! But through all of this great service, I've been able to develop closer relationships and never have the feeling like I'm doing this alone. I feel so overwhelmed with thanks to them and to my Heavenly Father and hope that I can, someday, adequately return all that I'm receiving right now.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Guest Blogger

Hello friends.
I was super honored to be asked to be a guest blogger for today's post on the superb blog- Hey Nonny. I'm so jazzed. Please feel free to read my post and, even better, read all the other posts from this week as well. It's a wonderfully written blog that you should definitely follow if you aren't already.

Happy weekend everyone!!

much love

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Nearly every Sunday and every time we visit with someone, people ask: How is Jericho? Where is Jericho?

Here is a little bit about how things are going.

Jericho's unit is currently at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. They arrived September 13th and have been doing training almost the entire time since they arrived. They are replacing another unit that is doing what they'll be doing so they meet with them and get trained on the trucks and what they'll be doing on the missions. The first group of people will start on a mission later this week. Jericho will not be in that group. He said they'll be sitting around cleaning guns and washing trucks while the other people are gone. 

September 24th was his birthday. I'm so glad that some of the boys celebrated with him. They bought him a cake and some presents! [sidenote: I haven't met the guys he's serving with, except one. Apparently they were on Facebook and saw pictures of me and decided I was either Greek or Jewish.]

Since he's been in Kuwait, I've been able to talk to him on the phone almost every day. For a time, they were off at a small base 2 hours from Arifjan where the only way for him to call was on phones they had to wait in line to use and had a 20 minute time limit. When he was there, we didn't get to talk as much. While at Arifjan, Jericho has internet access so we either Skype or talk on the Magic Jack phone he bought before leaving the states. It's amazing to me that we're able to talk as frequently as we do. Lately the internet connection has been a little spotty so our conversations have been shorter. But it's still amazing to me that he's half a world away and we can still talk like he's just down the street. It'll be rough when he starts his missions [meaning, when they drive into Iraq to load things up on the trucks] since he'll be gone for about a week at a time without any communication. I figure the time will go by even faster then because the phone calls with be spaced out further and I'll be looking forward to each one.

We also found out today when his leave will be- December 23 through January 6. He'll be here for Christmas!!!!!!! This is the greatest news I've had since we found out he'd be here for Sydney's delivery. 

The other main question I get is how I'm doing with things.

It amazes me every day how well things are going. It helps that I have a super easy baby. She requires a lot of attention, which I willingly give because really, I would just lay around on the couch all day watching movies with her napping in my lap if I could. She also eats and sleeps well so I'm able to move around the house and get things done. And she also travels well so we LOVE running errands. I honestly think up things to go do just because I like being out and about so much. My favorite place right now is Target. I don't think Jericho loves that though...

Logistically, I'm a single mom. But I have it a bit easier since I don't have to worry about holding down a job and caring for a newborn at the same time. Money just appears in the bank account. It's pretty magical. I hate to admit it, but I'm loving the government right now.

Emotionally and mentally, I'm not a single mom. I email Jericho pictures of Sydney as much as I can. I've taken roughly 4,721 pictures of her since he's been gone and have to refrain from attaching them all the emails to Jericho. I get to talk to him about her and how wonderful she is and how she's growing and learning. When we get off the phone, he tells me he loves me, and Sydney too. The first time he sent me a text telling me to kiss Sydney for him, I cried. Not out of sadness but out of sweetness. I can't wait for her to be old enough to understand what he did for the first year of her life and to see just how awesome her dad is.

The initial shock of being apart from my husband has thankfully worn off. Sometimes, when it's quiet and I'm thinking about  him, somewhere in the Disney movie part of my brain, I think that at those times he can somehow "hear me". Like suddenly the wind will blow or he'll call me right at that moment or a bird will start chirping while a rainbow bursts into the landscape.

I don't know if it's my meds, divine intervention, or the radiating joy that Sydney brings to everyone and everything, but, aside from the fact that my husband is in the middle of the desert with a bunch of smelly guys, life is pretty great. I'm excited every day to hold my baby, to work on projects, to take time for myself to just be happy and enjoy this time. Ever since Sydney was born [except for the first week that we'll call my "dark days"], I've had this renewed lust for life. I find that I talk to people differently, I smile more, I'm more motivated in everything I do. I continually amazed at how blessed we've been.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fridge of Death

The first month after Sydney was born, I crashed at my parents' house. They have cable. And people to talk to. I went back to my house a few times to get mail and such. One time when I went home after being gone about two weeks, the house had a strange smell. I thought maybe something in the trash or refrigerator had gone nasty. I opened the fridge and the smell hit me like the plague. I put my hand in and it was warm. Not cool. Actually warm. Every piece of everything was warm and moldy and smelly and putrid and there were bugs flying around. Then I opened the freezer and briefly lost consciousness after dry heaving in the family room. The freezer was 1000 times worse than anything I've ever smelled since it was full of various meat. My fridge had somehow completely died while I was gone.

I lack any sort of cleaning gloves so my de-grossing of the fridge consisted of one hand plugging my nose while the other hand was stuck inside a plastic grocery bag shoveling food into the trash as quickly as possible. My outside trash can was so heavy I almost couldn't roll it to the curb. Luckily I went home on trash day and the carnage was promptly removed from the premises. After cleaning everything out, the house still smelled like death so I plugged in my B&BW wallflowers and burned some candles and left the fan running on high. Later that day, I could still smell the food death in my nostrils. During the cleaning process, I kept Sydney upstairs with the fear that somehow e-coli could be airborn and she'd get sick from all the bacteria in the air. Jericho insisted that those types of food-born bacterium don't transfer through the air. But it still freaked me out.

I would have liked to take a picture of what it looked like inside the coffin of decaying food but there was no way I could keep the freezer open while plugging my nose and taking a picture.

Instead, I have pictures of what has come of my fridge self-destructing. 

Note the fluid residue in the freezer. There was a pool of blended ooze in that bottom drawer. The powder is baking soda. I think it helped some. Gun powder probably would have been better.

My borrowed mini-fridge. I felt like there should be beer in there instead of Diet Pepsi. The maple syrup and Hershey's products were the only survivors from the old fridge. Mainly because I didn't think they'd actually go bad from not being refrigerated. And because that's real maple syrup and costs more than a barrel of oil.

Behold, the new member of the kitchen family. Why didn't I just fix the old one? Well, since you asked. Friendly serviceman came out and determined the compressor busted and would be about an $800 fix. It's only about a $1000 refrigerator so we figured there wasn't much of a point since we knew we'd be getting a bigger better fridge at some point anyway. The sales lady at Best Buy couldn't believe that Whirlpool only had a one year warranty on the compressor. Finally she believed me when she pulled an owner's manual from one in the store. She then told me I should highly consider getting a better quality refrigerator. So lesson to you all out there, don't buy Whirlpool. Not merely for the fact that they don't warranty their compressors but because this fridge was only 14 MONTHS OLD! and it died. But the silver lining is that now I have this beautiful huge fridge and I got a really great deal. Take that Whirlpool!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Land of Enchantment

Have you ever seen the license plate for New Mexico? It says it's the "Land of Enchantment". For many years, I have wondered why in the world a desert state of the Southwest could be enchanting. I was there for one week and thought this was my chance to explain this mystery. Turns out, I didn't try too hard. I ended up spending most of my week taking pictures of this:

It was truly enchanting to spend a few days with Jericho after being apart for five weeks. I thought for sure this goodbye would have leveled me but it was much easier than the first goodbye when Sydney was only three days old. It helps that my life has balanced out a lot more since then. I cried tears of joy when I saw Jericho last week and managed not to cry at all when he left. I think we are both anxious for him to get going and start ticking off the days that he'll be back again. As for now, his two-week leave is scheduled for January sometime. My secret hope is that the government decides that they don't need their 300-soldier unit to stay in Kuwait come the new year and they'll decide to save money [imagine that!!] and send them all home for good in January. Wouldn't that be stellar? Let's all hope and pray for that one, shall we?

I'm grateful every day for Jericho and how much I love him. I love our relationship and feel so secure about everything even though we'll be apart for so long. And despite how this picture looks, Jericho really does love me too. He's been in Army mode for a month.

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